Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet, Christian Atsu, Luis Alberto and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – these are the five players Liverpool are reportedly in advanced talks with or on the verge of signing in the coming days as Brendan Rodgers aims to inject more quality into the squad ahead of the coming campaign.
The shortlist does not even include the names of defenders Tiago Ilori or Kyriakos Papadopoulos – two players the Reds were heavily linked with previously but are no closer to signing. It does not come as a surprise to see the Merseysiders linked with so many players, but given how close Liverpool supposedly are to purchasing the five players named above, supporters must be wondering where the money will come from to fund this summer spree, which may hit – and even go above – the £50m mark
Sunderland’s Belgian goalkeeper Mignolet could arrive as a replacement for Pepe Reina, who is rumoured to be attracting the interest of his former club Barcelona. However, the only other obvious Liverpool departure – outcast Andy Carroll aside – would be of star forward Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan is reportedly unhappy with the way he has been treated by the press in England and would consider a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. That the Reds are so close to signing so many players would suggest that the sale of Suarez is inevitable.
Armenian ace Mkhitaryan could cost Liverpool around £20m and he would supposedly bring more goals to the team. The midfielder found the net on 25 occasions in the Ukrainian league in the last campaign, while Suarez scored 23 times in the Premier League last term. Meanwhile, the imminent arrival of Aspas would also be with goals in mind the Spaniard scored 12 times in La Liga last season.
Some may argue that Rodgers is looking to improve the wrong areas; that Liverpool were impressive in front of goal last season and that defensive improvements should be made instead. But the reality is that Suarez was involved in many of the Reds’ goals in the previous campaign and the fact that Rodgers appears to be so interested in signing players with a history of scoring goals gives the clearest indication that the Anfield outfit expect Uruguayan Suarez to leave, and are preparing for life without him.
One further aspect to consider is how much of an improvement Rodgers will be expected to make based on the amount of money he is looking to spend. Liverpool acquired £50m worth of talent over the course of last season yet only improved their final league position by one place. Would a similar outcome be acceptable come May 2014, or are the owners now looking for Liverpool to seriously challenge for a place in the Champions League? Rodgers will know that with the squad now starting to take shape in the way he wants it and with serious money being spent, he will be under more pressure to deliver. This transfer window could have many consequences for Liverpool.
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